Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan, perhaps sensing the impending end of his career in Congress, has broken ranks with the Party of Trump, as the GOP has become known, and contradicted the President’s statements regarding Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
During the summit being held in Helsinki, Finland between Trump and Russia’s president Vladimir Putin, Trump appeared to accept as legitimate the Russian potentate’s continuing insistence that his country did not interfere in the election — a position Putin has taken since the very beginning of the FBI investigation into the affair.
This position is, of course, contrary to the findings of every intelligence agency that has looked into the matter — except Russia’s own national security interests, naturally — and belies the fact that the Special Counsel investigation being headed up by former FBI Director and career intelligence officer Robert Mueller has turned up multiple guilty pleas from associates of Trump’s, as well as more than two dozen indictments of Russian security agents.
Speaker Ryan made clear that he is a believer in the statements of America’s intelligence community, and in the veracity of those charges and guilty pleas.
In a strongly-worded statement following the President’s summit with Putin, Ryan addressed not only the hostile foreign power’s 2016 activities but also their ongoing efforts to continue the same activities in the US and around the world. As evidence has turned up strong connections between the 2016 election in the United States and the “Brexit” campaign in England, with many of the same players named and featured, it’s become clear that Russia’s efforts extend far beyond the fake news and social media ad buys they undertook in the effort to get Mr. Trump elected.
From Ryan’s statement:
There is no question that Russia interfered in our election and continues attempts to undermine democracy here and around the world. The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally.”
It was an unusual move for the Speaker to criticize Trump’s handling of what has come to be known on social media as the “#TreasonSummit.” It’s not clear how many other Republicans will join Ryan’s call for the President to recognize Russia’s activities.
Featured image via DC Tribune Gallery